Skiing: Kostelic undergoes new knee surgery

Croatia's veteran ski champion Ivica Kostelic on Tuesday underwent another operation on his troubled right knee in a Swiss clinic, the national ski association said.

The 33-year-old Kostelic underwent succesful surgery in a Basel clinic during which doctors "treated his meniscus and removed bone growths," the association said in a statement.

It was the 11th time the Zagreb-born Kostelic had gone under the knife to repair damage to his knees -- 10 times on the right one -- caused by years of wear and tear on the slopes, especially in his preferred slalom discipline.

The operation was intially planned for April but it was postponed so Kostelic could take advantage of excellent snow conditions and use them for spring training.

As the surgery was more minor than expected, and if his rehabilitation continues as planned, Kostelic could return to the slopes earlier than expected, the statement said without elaborating.

The 2011 overall World Cup winner had said he wants to continue skiing on the World Cup circuit for a further two seasons and to compete at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

In this season's World Cup slalom standings Kostelic ended third behind Austria's Marcel Hirscher and Germany's Felix Neureuther.

In the overall World Cup standings, won also by Hirscher, Kostelic ended up fifth.